The team of Ecojesuit attending COP21 in Paris met with the physicist Mr. Hervé le Treut and the economist Mr. Jean Charles Hourcade. Mr. Le Treut is a senior researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Cnrs) and professor at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique; he is also a member of the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme. Mr. Hourcade is a director of research at the CNRS.
The meeting was facilitated by the Jesuit social centre in Paris: CERAS. The aim was to deepen our reflection on climate change; its impacts and the most effective responses besides the follow up of the COP21 we have scheduled several meetings with other experts along these days. Both experts showed a personal engagement on social transformation and lead the discussion into several of the more important dilemmas policy makers, and finally the entire societies, are facing.
According Mr. Le Treut we should start looking beyond the present agreements in Paris. We cannot expect everything from a single conference and the challenges are so huge that we need to move quickly if we really want to offer effective solutions before it be too late. We need to design innovative lines of action and ambitious financing objectives: «we really need innovation in energy generation, as bottle neck of all our systems».
As scientists their work is to observe and to analyse, and for them a very evident conclusion is that “by far what we are doing it is certainly not enough” in order to confront climate change. The negotiations at COP21, if successful, will only reach some agreements on topics that have been already discussed for many years (emission reductions, financial objectives) but not in the magnitude that scientific evidence is showing us today. Our capacity of reaction is much slower than the speed of the transformations in the atmosphere and in the environment.
Mr. Hourcade highlighted that we have lost 20 years in the negotiations. The emerging economies are now fostering their infrastructures. In 20-30 years’ time they will have fully developed a carbon intensive economy while, if we would have taken the right direction now, promoting renewable energies, we could face a non-carbon intensive economy also in the emerging countries. For this we need to stablish concrete targets and allocate the necessary funds that could assure a successful result to this major economic and social shift.
Mr. Le Treut reminded that change is only possible if we believe on it, otherwise the necessary efforts will be suffocate by so many interest and needs that will have to postponed. These lead us to an interesting conversation on how to break the circle of distrust: people don’t accept the evidence proposed by science. It’s not only a problem of education of the people, but mainly of communication.
The Ecojesuit Team